The Health Care Blog: Should Health Care Standards be Open Source?.This post from the THCB does an excellent job of identifying one of the problems (perhaps the core problem) with health care standards, that is that they are closed (i.e. not free and open source for the most part). I am not talking about EHR software (or any other kinds of health care software), I literally mean the standards themselves, developed by various standards development organizations (SDO's).
Why? Because just about everything within the health care industry is closed. That is an indication of just how powerful the incumbents are across the board (providers, hospitals, insurance companies, software vendors, standards organizations, you name it). It is a dysfunctional marketplace precisely because it controlled by a relatively few. There is no real competition and that hasn't changed in fifty years because for the most part, the incumbents like the status quo. Who can blame them?
The industry will never be transformed from the inside. It is one of America's great remaining oligopolies. At a minimum, if we are going to make any progress at all with respect to interoperability then we need open standards. Period. Does anyone believe for a moment that the technology industry would have advanced according to Moore's Law without open standards? NO WAY. In the technology industry we have seen quality go up and prices come down. What about the health care industry? I will let you answer that question for yourself.
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